Littlefield: Gregg Popovich Deserves Our Applause

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich spoke out against President Trump when the president wrongly criticized his predecessors. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has spoken out against President Trump once again. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Last week, President Trump claimed that previous presidents, including President Obama, had not called the families of service members killed in action.

That was untrue, and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was so angry about the claim that he called Nation sports editor Dave Zirin to tell him the President was “a soulless coward." "Please make sure this is on the record,” Coach Popovich said.

Bill Littlefield wishes Coach Popovich had called him, too.

The NBA is underway. “Hooray!” says I for that.
And questions will be answered ... all the ones with which we’ve sat
Since spring, when last they played the game and Cleveland fell just short ...
And Golden State, quite golden, ruled as kings upon the court.

And just beneath the surface of reports of nightly games
Will lurk the words of one brave coach who has been naming names.
And will the Spurs contend again, as they have often done?
And beat some younger, faster teams that maybe should have won?
They may. I hope they do, because their mentor, on the stump
Has stepped outside his role as coach and called out Mr. Trump.

You may have missed that Popovich cried out when Trump misspoke.
“Misspoke?” the coach might rightly ask. I’m rhyming. ‘Twas a joke.

Meanwhile, the NFL proceeds, on field and soon in court,
For it’s a league that’s still a single quarterback too short.
And why? Well, says the quarterback, and his attorney, too,
It’s partly ‘cause the President — here comes the other shoe --
Has told the owners how he feels about a kneeling man
Who’s stood against outrageous violence. Anybody can
Twist anything to represent another thing, I guess …
But by so doing, POTUS has created quite a mess
For all the friendly owners who are also friends with him.
(I don’t know where they congregate. I’ll bet it’s not the gym.)

But I digress. The point is sports and politics collide
When those in sports can recognize that they don’t have to hide
The thoughts and feelings that they have as living, breathing souls,
Who’d rather not be lied to or about. And in their roles
As genuine role models, they can model more than grit,
As it appears upon the field or court. They needn’t sit
Quite still and silent, as the world is stirred and badly shaken
By one who’s demonstrated that his word should not be taken.


Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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